Since the time of Christ, caring for the sick and the poor has been a core distinctive of authentic Christianity. The response of Christians during many of the great plagues of antiquity played an important role in the spread of Christianity. In modern history, response to epidemics have been professionalized and, to a certain extent, secularized. The 2014–2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa offers an important illustration of the role that faith leaders and faith-based organizations still play in providing a trusted link between communities and international relief workers.
During the latter half of 2018, the world was faced with another outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is vital to build upon the lessons of prior epidemics as we support local efforts to prepare for, detect, and respond to inevitable future outbreaks